Note: This blog post from February 2015 is now out of date. Visit the Social Purchasing Project website at

social Purchasing Project

The Social Purchasing Project aims to build capacity and elevate the profile of social enterprises within the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) by connecting enterprises with public and private sector purchasers.

Currently, the Project is working to develop a set of criteria that will allow social enterprises to be recognized as diverse suppliers. The Project is now in consultation with corporate partners to identify the requirements social enterprises must meet to become certified diverse suppliers.

Concurrently, the Social Purchasing Project is developing a capacity assessment tool that will help social enterprises evaluate their operational and organizational capacity and identify their strengths and areas that need improvement. The assessment tool includes a tender-ready component, which will assist enterprises in preparing for tender-ready certification.

When successful, the two-pronged approach of supplier diversity, along with the tender-ready certification will open up doors for social enterprises to do business with larger businesses, corporations, and the public sector. These include opportunities with the Pan Am/Para Pan Am Games and the Metrolinx Eglinton Crosstown LRT construction.

Over the coming weeks, the Project will be working with SET members and other social enterprises to test out the tender-readiness checklist. Any social enterprises interested in further information, including testing out the tools and helping to develop the final product are encouraged to get in touch with us. Please email Jon Harstone at or Alexandra Djukic

Social Purchasing Project is a joint initiative of United Way Toronto, the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada to support the social enterprise sector.